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A wonderful example of caring, compassion : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
A wonderful example of caring, compassion

The Kendall County PADS (Public Action To Deliver Shelter) completed its first successful year last month.

Organized early last year by a diverse group of concerned county residents from churches throughout the county, the PADS program provided overnight shelter for 54 homeless adults and 13 children who had no other place to stay from last Oct. 17 to April 16. A total of seven county churches came forward to provide shelter to those in need, each for one night a week. The participating churches were: St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Boulder Hill, Harvest Baptist Church near Oswego, Cross Lutheran south of Yorkville, the Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ in Yorkville, Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist in Oswego, Trinity Church United Methodist in Yorkville, and the Plano United Methodist Church in Plano.

The program was staffed by a group of 510 caring volunteers who took turns working in shifts nightly to staff the program at the churches.

Some of the homeless individuals stayed for just a few nights, while others sought shelter for months at a time. PADS officials estimate the 67 individuals the program served combined for about 700 overnight stays.

There was some initial skepticism when the initiative to organize the PADS program was announced. Some people questioned if there was a need for such a program in what has been a comparatively affluent county. But PADS organizers knew the need was already here and the numbers of individuals the program served over the past seven months more than confirmed that need.

It took a massive organizational effort to launch the PADS program and it required the continued commitment of dedicated volunteers to make the program work. The Kendall County community owes a debt of gratitude to all those involved in the program, from the churches who provided their facilities to the volunteers who agreed to give up a night's sleep to staff the program-especially those who worked the third shift from 2:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. The work of all involved is a wonderful example of human compassion and caring for those among us who are in need of help.

For the dozens of people who have been helped by PADS, there are hundreds more in Kendall County who have shelter- but little more. Those people can be helped at the Kendall Cares Clinic on Saturday, May 21 at Plano High School. Volunteers there will provide medical check ups, hair cuts, clothing, books, food and even family photos, all at no cost to them.

The key word--again--is volunteers. More helpers are needed to register individuals and families and guide them to all of the services, as well as to help set up, clean up, prepare lunch and more. To find out about the volunteer opportunities at Kendall Cares Clinic, go to their web site,

If you were unable to make a commitment to help each month at a PADS site, this is an opportunity to make a real difference to many people in just a few hours of your time.

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